Laurent Kronental: How I captured the soul of Paris’ housing giants

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Laurent Kronental: How I captured the soul of Paris' housing giants

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Laurent Kronental: How I captured the soul of Paris' housing giants
Les Espaces d’ Abraxas

In 2010, as I was walking near my home in Courbevoie, I discovered a tiny little street that had been suspended in time for 50 years — a spot of countryside at the foot of office buildings of the La Défense business district.

The place was surreal. I befriended a couple of elderly people and started to photograph them. Their traditional garden offered a stark contrast with the surrounding skyline of towers, bringing together two different eras, two different living styles.

At this time, I was developing a great attraction to the architecture of the “Grands Ensembles” — the large housing projects that encircle Paris and many major French cities.

The more I photographed these projects, the more I was amazed. The buildings seemed timeless, as if they oscillated between past and present. Two areas next to my home have been inspirational: “Les Damiers” at Courbevoie and “Les Tours Aillaud” (they are also called “Tours Nuages” or “Cité Pablo Picasso”) at Nanterre.

“Souvenir d’un Futur” documents the life of the senior citizens living in the “Grands Ensembles” around Paris.

For the most part erected between the 1950s and the 1980s in an attempt to address the housing crisis, urban migration and the inflow of foreign migrants while meeting modern comfort needs, today they are often stigmatized as dangerous by the media. […]

Continue Reading – Source: CNN

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